How to create a website
If you’re wondering how to create a website for your business or where to start building one then this guide is just what you’re looking for.
You’re not on your own by the way, designing and creating a new website you can be proud of can be tricky business. Even if it looks great, your website needs to rank well in search engines, then once it gets found, your customers will need to trust your company and have the confidence to contact you or buy from your new website.
Create a website to increase awareness and win more business
Even with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being dominant social media platforms and a fantastic way to promote your business, not having a good website will undoubtedly hurt both your business and your bottom line. Any business without a website will simply shrivel up and die.
The use of the internet increases year on year, people are searching more online, consuming more and expect to find what they need in an instant. Without a website how will you get found? The fact is you probably won’t!
Think about it, the reason you’re reading this article now is probably because you know how important a website is and you actually searched for ‘how to create a website’ or similar. Our website made you find us and we’re happy you did.
Now we’re both on the same page and we both agree that creating a website for your business is a must, we’ll move on.
How to create a website and how they are built
Technology is ever advancing and how websites are built continually changes and evolves but one simple fact remains; websites are produced by building code. Your computer and website browsers (such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox etc.) can easily read and understand this, they then convert this to create a website in a form which humans can read.
There are many ways that this ‘website code’ can be created but essentially it all boils down to the same thing; however you create a website and on which platform, you’re still producing information that computers can read.
You don’t have to be a tech genius or a geek to create a website although in depth knowledge is beneficial. This is where a good web designer comes in to help you.
Is building a website easy? Can I do it myself? How much does it cost to build a website?
These are some of the most frequent questions we get asked. They’re good questions and are fairly easy to answer.
Yes, you can create a website yourself and there are plenty of free website building platforms out there to help you.
Although think of it this way. You can bake a cake, right? It will probably be delicious, but would you be confident to create a wedding cake for your daughter’s big day? All the ingredients are there but would it look and taste like it’s been professionally made? Would people love it and savour every mouthful? In the same way the wedding guests may or may not like your cake creation, Google and search engines act the same with your website. If your cake, or website in this case, isn’t great and built professionally then it won’t recommend you or show you highly in search results.
So let’s tackle how much it costs to create a new website?
This is one question that makes us smile, it’s not one that can be answered easily without talking to you.
Every website built is totally different, has distinct functions, number of pages and need different amounts of planning and work. The best thing to do is to have a chat with a few web design companies and ask them to put a website design estimate together for you. That way, you’ll have an idea of what it’s likely to cost and what you’re getting for the money.
Pro Tip: If you are looking to use a professional web designer to create your website, be wary of design companies who offer fixed prices. Knowing that each website is different, how much time and effort will be devoted to building your site?
Things to get ready before creating a new website
Register your domain name
Every website, whether it’s a one-page micro site or has thousands of pages, it needs a domain name. Your domain name or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the name that people type in a search bar of their browser (ours is www.midascreative.co.uk as an example). We would suggest that if you don’t already have one that you search for a relevant one.
Try not to choose anything too long or obscure, either use your company name or something connected with your business e.g. midascreative.co.uk or webdesignmansfield.co.uk.
Your domain name does nothing for your local website ranking, however the easier it is to remember the better. It also doesn’t matter what the ‘top level’ domain name is (the .co.uk, .com, .biz. .eu part). Although, bear in mind that people are used to seeing a .co.uk and .com, website domains that have been around for a long time. New domain endings such as .space, .io, and .gg are fairly new and it could put people off clicking your website link in search engine results pages (SERP).
Pro Tip: Although, your web designers can help you secure your domain name (it’s very easy to do by the way), if you do get help, make sure they register your new domain under your name and address and with your email address. Using your details for registration ensures that you keep complete control of your domain name.
Decide on email addresses
Now you have secured your domain name, make a list of any email addresses your company will need. Remember that each person in your business will need an email address. You may also need some administration emails such as [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] etc.
New email addresses can be added at any time during the process of creating your new website but it’s best to decide early on, so no addresses are overlooked.
Who will host your website?
Along with a domain name, you’ll also need to consider where to host your new website and emails. In simple terms, hosting is where your website will live. It’s stored on computers known as ‘servers’.
When you look for a website hosting provider make sure they offer good security for your website and provide fast speeds and great customer service. Many website design companies will take care of this for you as part of your website build as it can get quite technical.
Pro Tip: When choosing who to host with, make sure that the servers (by the way they are called servers as they serve data to your internet browser) are based in the UK. If you find out that your website is hosted in Canada for instance, this will affect the speed at which your website loads. Think about it, you type in a web address into your website browser, it looks for where your web page ‘lives’. It then asks for that information to load your website. Your browser then displays your website. The farther the distance the host is from the website request, the slower it will load (not by much however). This is one of the factors which can affect local website ranking.
Now that we’ve covered the basics that all websites need such as domain name, emails and hosting, it’s time to start looking at what you’ll need to provide your website design company with to allow them to create a new website for you.
Here is a list of six things you’ll need to supply your web design company to build you an awesome website:
Supply a logo
Every business should have a logo on their website. If you have one, then make sure you give it to your website company. If you don’t have a logo or you’re a startup company needing a new website then don’t worry. The majority of website design companies are also graphic designers and branding designers. They should easily be able to design you a new logo.
Pro Tip: If you’re a member of any trade associations or have any awards or endorsements then it’s a clever idea to show these on your website. Logos from trade associations or official bodies on your new website will help build trust with your visitors and add value to your brand.
Supply images and any graphics
You’ll need to supply your chosen website design company with images of your business, products and services. If you don’t have any then you have two options. Either have some taken by a professional photographer or use a quality stock photography website such as iStock, Shutterstock and Dreamstime. If you have a decent camera then by all means take them yourself, however, the final decision on whether to use photographs you have taken should rest with your website designer as the resolution required needs to meet a minimum quality and they need to look awesome.
Wording and content for your website
Did we just hear a big intake of breath there?
Honestly, you don’t have to be the next Shakespeare here. Make a list of your services and include as much information as possible, any benefits that your business offers and key information such as opening times and contact details. If you have a good website designer, they will be able to help you with this and build you great content for your website. They should also be able to help you with your keywords which will ultimately get your website found in local searches.
Create a website you love
Website design, like any design is totally subjective (remember the Flock of Seagulls’ haircuts? – Google it!). You should supply a list of colours together with your preferred font styles to your website designer. We even advise our clients to give us examples of websites they like and dislike.
Who are you website customers?
The obvious answer would be anyone that wants to buy from you but it’s a bit more complicated than that. Supposing you’re a local furniture store selling vintage and shabby chic homeware items. Your largest audience will probably be female, around the age of 40+, have their own homes and have enough disposable income to buy your goods.
This will influence the overall look and feel of your new website and will guide the ongoing marketing strategy of your new website.
Knowing your target audience will give your website designer a stronger chance of creating a new website which will work best for your chosen market. Supply your web design team with a list of our your potential clients are.
Plan your website design and functionality
Now we know you’re not a web expert or web consultant but try and think about the pages your website will need and the functions it should have. It doesn’t need to be perfect and your web designer should advise you accordingly. You don’t need the technical knowledge or wording, just saying things like “I want to be able to email website visitors” or “visitors need to be able to book on an event and pay online” – should give your website designer the information they need. We now know you need an email signup form and an online booking system with payment gateway. We’ll do the website planning and give you advice on how best to achieve this, there should now be enough info to start to create a website for your business
The is a lot to think about when building your website. Remember, your chosen website designer should always explain everything, so you fully understand what they mean. With web design nothing is set in stone, if you’re not happy with something say, there could be a good reason this is done a certain way, but again this should be explained to you. Create a website that works for you and your business and one that brings in value to your customers and with the right marketing and SEO it should start paying you dividends.
We really hope you have found this article useful, please share if you think it’s been of value!